Life has its ups and downs. As I was approaching age forty, having lost my job, most of our net worth, and much of my industry reputation, it was time to begin again. Fortunately Loretta’s business was doing fine, the kids were doing well in school, and I had learned much from my dozen years in international business.
Yet here I was in my late 30’s, having worked 70 or 80 hours a week for most of my adult life, with no job, no clear prospects, and my life in a financial shambles. Yet this was a time for deepening my practice of spiritual generosity. This could have been a time for succumbing to a scarcity mentality, but that is not my nature, so instead I focused on the sudden abundance of time in my day, time to spend with my wife, with my children, time to read all those philosophical and spiritual books I hadn’t gotten to read, time to think and re-evaluate my life. And thanks to Loretta’s and my financial prudence over the decades we had the financial wherewithal for me to contemplate and explore reality.
Approaching my forties, nearing midlife, it became important to me to change my way of being in the world. To change my sense of self and how I would engage with the world in the second half of my life. I knew how to work hard. In the early days of Genzyme I often headed to my office by 4:30 am and worked through to 8 pm. I seldom met our neighbors. Six weeks after we moved into our new house in Concord my daughter was playing with the girl next door who asked Loretta if Sarah had a Daddy since in six weeks she had never seen me.
For many of those early days of my career successes Loretta was the primary parent, had two kids at home under 5 years old, and was building her own business. Yet I chose that living arrangement along with her and willingly paid the price seemingly demanded for such success. We came from poverty and thirsted for material well being. But we always tried for something more as well. Now we could pursue it.